Q. The alumni access to the library services and materials is very limited – just books. I understand that the reserve materials are for students and faculty only, but what about media resources and online resources? Can the library look at widening the access to materials for alumni? For example, allowing alumni to borrow media materials that are only “in library”, so no holds can be placed on materials that are checked out. Is there a library card that I can purchase that grants access to media items and online materials?
Yes unfortunately there a number of restrictions on alumni use of library resources, in particular the two you have mentioned remote access to databases and the borrowing of media material.
The restriction re remote access to most databases is due to the vendor licensing models which only allow access to current students and faculty. It is my understanding that including alumni would make these databases prohibitively expensive.
The restrictions on borrowing material from the Media Collection is due to the fact that the primary function of these resources is to support classroom teaching and therefore its usage is also restricted to current students and faculty.
Purchasing an external borrowing card would not help with either of these resources as external borrowers face the same restrictions as alumni.
On a more positive note – all databases can be accessed from within the library by any member of the public so you can come to any of the three SFU libraries and access this material.
Also the restrictions on borrowing Media material are currently under review with the possibility that borrowing by alumni will be allowed in the near future.